Justice is the principle behind our commitment to respond to the needs of the mentally ill who are in danger of becoming homeless.
Justice requires the establishment of fair and inclusive public policy in pursuit of the public good. The public good includes that everyone has access to the basic amenities of life – food, a home, freedom and human dignity.
People ask for justice and not charity because all charity is humiliating.
Public facilities dealing with poverty is the responsibility of the state. Only the state can fulfill the needs of society’s poor by getting them out of poverty. Only the state can ensure that all citizens have access to food, a home, freedom and human dignity.
We have an important role to play in urging politicians to address the need for a home for everyone. This work is not completed since nearly 3700 people still live on the street in Vancouver and many more in the lower mainland. Over 60% of them suffer from mental illness.
At the same time, charity as justice has a place in society but it needs to be redefined as a partnership within the community. All parties involved in an act of ‘charity’ or ‘philanthropy’, as it is called today, need to experience the dignity of giving something to maintain their dignity as the realistic needs of those not serviced by the state are addressed. Some people fall between the cracks of society where ‘public policy’ has not yet focused adequately.
Indeed, charity includes the concept of’ justice’ in the context of ‘caring’ or a ‘sense of fellow feeling’. We are committed to extend the hand of justice and caring to families in need of safe and affordable housing through Homes to Heal.
Otto Toews (Ph. D.)